Snowmass Town Council in process of adopting goals
Progressive, consistent, vibrant, community-focused, snowy, family-friendly, incomplete, diverse, inclusive and educational — can you guess which member of the Snowmass Town Council selected which two adjectives to describe the village today?
The council kicked off a four-hour goal-setting meeting Wednesday by answering this question posed by Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney, who led the discussion.
“The whole objective is to get the brains thinking,” Kinney told the council.
The Town Council formally adopts a series of council goals every two years after every regular town election, according to Kinney.
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At the meeting, Kinney assured the Town Council that the document “gets used once it’s adopted” and impressed upon them “how much we, as staff, rely on this goal-setting document.”
Specifically, the town manager said he refers to the council’s goals to help develop work plans for the staff, form budgets and allocate dollars accordingly.
“We don’t need super detailed stuff,” Kinney said. “Some big picture, ‘Where do we you want to get to?’ vision (is what) we’re looking for from you guys.”
Kinney estimated that the Town Council would “have a draft (of the goals) to look at” by mid-February, followed by a formal adoption sometime in March.
Below are three key topics the council discussed.
PRESERVING AND CONNECTING THE NODES
Talk of better connecting the town’s three “nodes” — the Snowmass Center, Snowmass Mall and Base Village area — began formally with an open house as part of the town’s Community Connectivity Plan in January 2016.
The Community Connectivity Plan is a town initiative that aims to increase pedestrian, bicycle and transit options in the village while reducing the need for vehicular travel.
The council discussed not only better connecting these nodes, but also preserving the individual character of each area.
“What I think is unique about Snowmass is that each one of the nodes serves a different population and a different purpose,” Mayor Markey Butler said.
She added that each is “fun to explore,” to which the rest of the council seemed to agree.
“They each have their own personality,” added Snowmass Councilman Tom Goode.
‘COMMUNAL LIVING ROOM’
The notion of creating some type of communal space or “community living room” was identified as a priority amongst participants of two recent Plan Snowmass workshops.
During its goal-setting meeting, the council looked at this and also “better utilizing its existing infrastructures” to meet this request.
They also discussed adding more “cultural diversity” and opportunities for performing arts and activities at night.
“There’s not a lot of stuff going on at night,” Snowmass Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk said. “I think we could up our game in those areas.”
With a town-operated housing occupancy rate at about 99 percent, according to Kinney, it’s no surprise that housing cracked the council’s list of goals.
“Affordable housing needs to be a priority,” Councilman Bill Madsen said. “We need to identify some places” for future development.
The council also discussed housing amongst Snowmass’ aging workforce and potentially looking downvalley to develop, due to breathing difficulties that people face with age at higher altitudes.
“The assumption is everybody runs into breathing difficulties” at some point, said Butler, who works with elder folks as part of her role as executive director at HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley.
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